Cloverfield

Cloverfield

(2008)
Godzilla meets Blair Witch in this highly secretive blockbuster from the producer of the equally mysterious Lost. The footage in the film is said to be culled from a videotape found in a handicam after the ‘incident’, and revolves around a group of young New Yorkers struggling to stay alive throughout the crisis.

The exact nature of the beast has not been disclosed, and will not be revealed in any marketing material other than the movie itself. Curiousity, it has to be said, is killing us.

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Flicks Review

Cloverfield is a compact, intense, unrelenting monster of a movie. A gigantic, ghastly beast (realised very convincingly) rips apart Manhattan and its unexpecting inhabitants. The action, in its entirety, is presented as handicam footage "found" after the attack.

Once the threat is announced in central New York, its full throttle. Our cameraman Hud (T.J. Miller) insists “people will want to know how it all went down” and captures our characters' plight to save friends and get out of the city.

It’s a clever film, and one could read into it a relevance to youtubers, myspacers & facebookers, as well America’s fear of terrorism. Indeed it’s the best monster movie in a long time (alongside last year’s very different The Host) but, more than anything, Cloverfield is hugely entertaining. A good, old-fashioned, fun night out at your local cinema.

The great thing about it is that while staying faithful to the gimmick (the movie never leaves the view of the handicam) the filmmakers have still been able to build tension, create scares and structure a satisfying watch. Within it are many contrivances (the fall and rise of a romance is also caught between monster mashing), but being left to see the disaster unfold just as the characters have is great - you know what’s going on only as much as they do. And yip, you get a good look at the monster. The lack of explanation around the monster’s origins might irritate some, but the film is stronger for not knowing.

Technically it’s quite a feat. It sells the realism of the handicam ‘look’ but doesn’t distract by cleverly maintaining a high production value. Convenient lighting at convenient times mean you always see what you need to see. The CGI is flawless.

It’s a shame the film and its characters are rather sanitized. The characters are gorgeous young yuppies who never swear (the kind of people you’d hate unless their lives were in danger), and while the action is scary it’s not terrifying. Plus there’s overt product placement. But it’s all forgivable because the movie is just so much fun. If you can accept the conceit, Cloverfied is a short, sharp and intense rollercoaster. Sit near the back of the cinema.


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 15 ratings, 15 reviews
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OMG i love horror, sci fi and thriller films and it takes alot for me to say a film was good or impressive however this film totally ROCKED MY BOAT!!! IT WAS AWESOME i have never found a film that had me on the edge of my seat every second, accept for my bloody valentine 3d which i find shit now compared to cloverfield. CLOVERFIELD IS SICKKK... Its so sad at the end u just feel this pain inside of u. IT LEAVES U SO FREAKED OUT BECAUSE THE STARNGE ENDING. ALL I CAN SAY IS THIS FILM WAS SICKKK XX


0.o

The movie was good it had a human side story on the side . Good actors ? in a moster movie ? i never thought it was a possible.
Now because i rated it 3 doesnt meant its not a good movie which it is, its just not something im into or will ever realy like.
I never realy got these types of movies .


A pastiche of of monster movies with a handicam twist. Nothing startling.


it was so sad at the end, even if i got home after watched the film i couldn't stop thinking about that.


Well it's an easy film to rate - one great piece of crap. The trailer promised so much but as usual of yank films delivered so little. I was going googled eyed trying to follow this pathetic attempt of trying to be different with the camera. The plot was a joke and not believable at all and the ending left you wondering what the hell it was all really about. I also got really agitated by the idiot who was operating the handycam, whom constantly kept yelling ROB, ROB, ROB, ROB, ROB a million... More times throughout the film. Summing up, I can't believe this type of crap was aloud to make the cinema where patrons where ripped off of their hard earned cash!Hide


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The Press Reviews

  • BBC

    Godzilla meets YouTube in this corking sci-fi thriller from Lost producer JJ Abrams and director Matt Reeves. Cloverfield's brilliantly simple gimmick is to take a traditional monster movie scenario and shoot the carnage from ground up, using a single camcorder carried by one of the protagonists. The action is relentless: we get five minutes of introductions at a going-away party for chiselled yuppie Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David), then something goes boom in Manhattan and it's wall-to-wall peril... Full Review

  • Believe the hype - Cloverfield is an impressive twist on the blockbuster disaster movie... Full Review

  • Throughout, Cloverfield pulls off the trick of generating tension from what it doesn't reveal or what might be lurking just out of frame. That's an old trick, of course, and there's not really a lot new about Cloverfield, apart from its ground-level perspective. But there's no denying its inventiveness or intensity, and both are sure to make this New York demo tape a monster hit... Full Review

  • It does everything a good monster movie should. It’ll thrill, it’ll shock, and it’ll quite likely scare the bejeezus out of you. Depending on your tolerance of handycams, it may very well make you sick... Full Review

  • 1/2 Seeing what unfolds through a personal video racks up the tension perfectly, up close and intimate, and with some consistently strong performances by a cast of relative unknowns. Despite that intimacy, the film failed to build any real attachment to the characters, but purely from a visual perspective, and for the ride, Cloverfield definitely kept me entertained, and even felt quite fresh.... Full Review

  • An old-fashioned monster movie dressed up in trendy new threads, "Cloverfield" plays like "The Blair Witch Project" meets "Godzilla," as it charts via camcorder the desperate efforts of some twentysomething Soho scenesters to steer clear of a gigantic beast laying waste to Manhattan. Despite its indie-flavored shooting style, first-rate visual effects, reasonable intensity factor, nihilistic attitude and post-9/11 anxiety overlay, this punchy sci-fier is, in the end, not much different from all the marauding creature features that have come before it... Full Review